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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 209-214

Assessment of hypoxia and physiological stress evinced by usage of n95 masks among frontline dental healthcare workers in a humid western coastal region of India-A repeated measure observational study

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Goa Dental College and Hospital, Goa, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Goa Dental College and Hospital, Goa, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Goa Dental College and Hospital, Goa, India
4 Department of Oral Surgery, Goa Dental College and Hospital, Goa, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ridhima B Gaunkar
Goa Dental College and Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Medical Complex, Bambolim, Panji - 403 202, Goa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_446_20

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Aim: To assess the oxygen saturation in DHCWs using N95 and 3 ply surgical masks and determine the presence of any other subjective discomfort in them. Settings and Design: A repeated measure observational study conducted at the Tertiary Care Dental Institute situated in Goa, a western coastal region of India recording humid conditions year around. Methods and Material: Participants constituted 60 frontline DHCWs wearing N95 masks and 60 DHCWs working in non-clinical setting wearing surgical masks. After completion of a self-administered questionnaire their oxygen saturation and pulse rate were monitored at baseline, 60mins and 120mins using pulse oximetry. Statistical Analysis: Mann Whitney u test compared oxygen saturation between the two groups. Friedmann and Wilcoxon signed rank test with Bonferroni correction computed differences within group at various time intervals. Binary logistic and linear regression was used to compare the study variables with outcome measure. p value was set at < 0.05. Results and Conclusion: Oxygen saturation reported a significant drop post one hour of wearing N95 masks which increased in the second hour. Prolonged use of N95 mask in humid environment adds to the body's physiological burden or perceptions of discomfort and exertion. Efforts need to be taken to address this for better compliance to the use of these protective gears.


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